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Clock ticking to ship gifts to Costa Rica in time for the holidays

December brings sun, winds and terrible traffic in and around San José as everyone scrambles to finish their holiday shopping. If you want to enjoy the feel of December breezes on your face instead of exhaust from the car in front of you in the mall parking lot, there is still time to buy holiday gifts online. But time is running short.

Shoppers in Costa Rica should purchase their gifts from the U.S. at least 10 days ahead of the time they want them to get here, Mariana Sanz, spokeswoman for the Miami-based mail forwarding service Aeropost, told The Tico Times in an email.

Packages for most postbox services in Costa Rica are routed through Miami first and must be cleared by Costa Rican customs before delivery. Aeropost guarantees delivery within 48 hours of receipt in Miami, Sanz said.

That means you should wrap up your Christmas shopping abroad sometime next week to play it safe.

A statement from the Costa Rican postal service, Correos de Costa Rica, said that online shopping has been on the rise here. Correos de Costa Rica’s own PO Box service, Box Correos, has seen a 40 percent increase in Tico customers this year compared to 2014. The company estimates similar growth for 2016.

When shopping online, Correos de Costa Rica recommends:

  • Be sure what you’re buying doesn’t have additional charges;
  • Familiarize yourself with the company you’re buying from;
  • Find out what guarantee or return policy the company has; and
  • Read customer reviews before buying, if possible.

And if you’re hoping for home delivery, be sure you know your postal code.

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